Eloise, a third year BSc Human Biology student, describes her experiences of the course and of life in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham.
Title: BSc Human Biology (follow for video)
Duration: 2.34 mins
Speaker Names (if given): S1 Eloise O'Donoghue - undergraduate
S1 My name is Eloise O'Donoghue and I'm studying Human Biology and I'm in my third and final year.
I chose to study Human Biology at Birmingham because I'd always really enjoyed biology at school but I hated the plant bits and so this course was quite unique in that it came at biology from a purely human angle which is what drew me to it.
In the first year the course is a lot more general and you get, sort of, a good background to everything that you can choose from later on in the course. And in the second year you get the chance to choose from loads of different modules, so you can look at genetics or infectious diseases and so it's a really nice way to sort of streamline your study and go in the direction you want to go for the third year.
In first year there's a balance between lectures where you're in a big group of people and also practicals where you get a chance to apply the knowledge that you've learned in lectures in a lab with the rest of the students. And then in second year the balance still remains the same. But then for third year, as I a find, I'm in the lab most of the time and then I have slightly less lectures than in first and second year.
For my third year project I'm currently working in one of the research labs in Biosciences. It’s a structural biology project and I’m looking at an enzyme which is used by mycobacterium tuberculosis and this involves purifying the protein and hoping to get crystals of the protein so we can then resolve the structure of it. This could then be used as a potential drug target against TB.
My personal highlight of my time at Birmingham so far has been undertaking a summer research project in the School of Biosciences where I was looking an at an outer membrane bacterial adhesion in one of the research labs. It was a good opportunity to gain some experience and I also received some funding from the University of Birmingham Careers Service to do it.
Originally I'm from Dorset and so moving to Birmingham was initially quite daunting as it's a much bigger place than what I'm used to but I really love living here. It's a city with so much to see and do and I really enjoy it being so accessible from campus as well. The campus is a really nice place to come and study. There's loads of stuff to do. There's a gym which is right next to Biosciences which I find really handy and there's shops and loads of computer facilities as well so it's a really good place to come.
Once I've finished my course I'm hoping to do a PhD because I'm really interested in carrying on research because I'm really passionate about what I'm doing so far and I really like being in a lab environment. So I'm hoping to do a PhD probably in the area of infectious disease because that's what I've enjoyed the most throughout my course.
You really get out what you put in. There's loads of stuff that you can achieve here and it really depends on how much you want to get out of it. Lecturers are prepared to bend over backwards for you if you just put a bit of effort in yourself, so that's what I would say.
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